Fraud Defense Attorneys in Fort Worth
If you or a loved one are facing fraud-related charges or fear that you may be facing fraud-related charges, you should not wait to hire a Fort Worth fraud defense attorney to defend your freedom. Fraud charges can be brought in both state and federal courts and can be brought against both individuals and entities. Because the subject is complex and the penalties severe, defending your rights without an aggressive, specialized lawyer can seem like an impossible task.
The lawyers at Westfall Sellers have experience taking fraud cases to trial and winning. Whether you are the target of a state or federal investigation, Greg Westfall and Frank Sellers — who both have business school backgrounds, can help protect your rights and your reputation.
What is a fraud case?
Fraud is one of the more common types of white collar crime, which can appear at the state and federal levels. In its most simple form, fraud occurs when an individual or entity intentionally deceives another to gain something of value (usually money or assets) or deprives them of legal rights. Some types of fraud cases that Westfall Sellers have experience defending are:
- Bank fraud (Continue reading: What is bank fraud?)
- Mail and wire fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Securities fraud, insider trading
- Credit abuse
- Healthcare, medicare, or Medicaid fraud (Continue reading: What is Medicaid fraud?)
- Money laundering
What are the penalties for fraud in Texas?
Fraud can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the details of the case. Usually, the more money someone is claiming they were defrauded for, the more serious the charges. This is the breakdown of how misdemeanors and felonies are punished on the state level:
|Class C Misdemeanor||Up to $500||–|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Up to $2,000||Up to 180 days|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Up to $4,000||Up to 1 year|
|Third Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||2 – 10 years|
|Second Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||2 – 20 years|
|First Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||5 – 99 years|
|Capital Felony||–||Life sentencing or death penalty|
White collar crime sentencing at the federal level can get a lot more complicated. If the case involves interstate commerce it may be prosecuted at the federal level. This can mean the involvement of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). If you have a federal case you need to hire experienced federal lawyers, with in-depth knowledge of business and the law.
Whether you need a securities fraud defense or medical billing fraud defense, the criminal defense lawyers at Westfall Sellers can craft an expert defense for white collar crimes.
Defenses against fraud charges
Fraud cases are complex but not impossible. If your case is taken to trial, it likely means that the prosecution feels confident about proving your guilt. Your criminal defense attorney will explore a few avenues in trying to disprove your guilt.
The prosecution is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Though it is possible that weak points in their case, which they will try to obscure, exist. Weakening and disproving pieces of the prosecution’s case may sound standard, but Westfall Sellers works with investigators that have federal law enforcement experience, as well as forensic accountants, that can give vital counsel in preparation of a fraud defense.
Non-fraudulent exchange or statement
Your defense can attempt to prove that your actions did not meet the standards set forth to constitute fraud.
Lack of intent
In proving your guilt the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intent to commit fraud or knowledge of the stakes. This happens rarely, but it is possible to be dragged into something about which you have had no knowledge.
There are circumstances in which frustrated law enforcement officers will tip someone’s hand in order to complete an arrest. If you were coerced in any way by law enforcement officers to commit fraud in the midst of a sting operation or other police surveillance, this can be a strong defense.
Accused of white collar crimes? A Fort Worth fraud defense attorney from Westfall Sellers can help
The moment that you know you need a Fort Worth fraud defense attorney, hire one. Even if you only got a letter in the mail, or a call from a federal official who just wanted to “ask some questions”, the time to start building your defense is now.